Democratic City Committee Backs Markey, Gravellese, and Arroyo

The Revere Democratic City Committee met and endorsed for U.S. Senate, MA 16th Suffolk House Seat, and Suffolk Register of Probate primary races

 Roughly thirty members of the 39-member Revere Democratic City Committee met on August 12 to weigh in on the Democratic Primary Elections to take place this up-coming September 1st. Around 6:00 p.m. members and candidates vying for the committee’s endorsement began logging-in to the now usual virtual Zoom calls.

After some words form Chairwoman Dimple Rana, the meeting, which was live streamed by RevereTV, started with a call to vote by mail and fill the Census from Ward 2 Democratic Chair Chaimaa Hossaini who then handed off the reigns to the Committee’s Treasurer Patrick Keefe and community activist Jan Dumas to moderate the question and answer periods of the night.

First went the candidates for the 6th District of the Governor’s Council, where incumbent Terrence Kennedy is being challenged by Helina Fontes. While Fontes received the majority of the votes of the members present (19), she did not clear the two-thirds majority of present members needed for endorsement by the committee. Twenty votes were needed for endorsement.

In the heated race for United States Senate where Senator Ed Markey, is being challenged by Congressman Joe Kennedy, the heir-apparent of the Kennedy legacy, the Committee voted to endorse Markey by a 23 to 5 margin and one abstention. Democratic State Committeeperson from Revere, Juan Jaramillo pointed to the senator’s record on environmental, labor support, and on delivering for Revere as one of the main reasons he voted for the Senator. “I ran and became the sole state committee person from Revere on the Democratic Party, I did so because Revere is in grave environmental peril and we did not have a seat at the table. I have worked with Senator Markey on the state committee to address the concerns we face in Revere and he has consistently delivered for the families in our community.” Senator Markey, who represented the City of Revere in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than thirty years, expressed his gratitude to the committee. “Growing up in nearby Malden, I understand the struggles of working families in Revere and fight every day to ensure people have the resources they need to make it out of this crisis,” Senator Ed Markey said. “I am honored to have the support of the Revere Democratic City Committee, who has long shown me what it means to lead with strength and character. I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure a more just and equitable future for the City of Revere and beyond.”

The closest vote of the night happened at the behest of the race to replace out-going state Representative Roselee Vincent, who will be retiring at the end of her term. Candidates Joe Gravellese and Jessica Giannino took questions from the audience. Gravellese expressed the need to improve our public transportation system and to ensure quality education for all. When prompted, Giannino, who opened by highlighting her tenure on the city council, refused to answer a question from audience participants on whether or not she would step down as city councilor should she win. With a supermajority vote, 21 in favor, 6 against and 2 abstentions, the committee voted to endorse Joseph Gravellese for State Representative of the 16th Suffolk District.  “I appreciate the support of the Revere Democratic City Committee. These are the individuals who are dedicated to the work of fighting for important Democratic priorities like public education, the environment, civil rights, and so much more. To have their backing means a lot to me” said Gravellese after finding out about the group’s endorsement. Katherine Occena, a community leader from Ward 3, says she has become more involved in the city because of the “imperative to build a better future for her children.” She added that as a parent Gravellese’s advocacy for universal pre-K was important to her noting that, “quality education and access to pre-school are important for parents like me, and it is not only an education issue, but an economic issue for my family.”

Candidates for the Suffolk County Register of Probate also spoke to the group which held steady around thirty people for the three-hour affair. Incumbent Felix D. Arroyo is being challenged by Kerby Robensen. Arroyo got the most votes of any of the candidates clearing the two-thirds vote easily at twenty-five votes. After finding out he was endorsed Arroyo, a Revere resident himself said “it is an honor to have my candidacy for re-election as the Suffolk County Register of Probate endorsed by the Revere Democratic Committee. As an elected official, I have witnessed their work and activism, and I am grateful for it.” Oscar Jaramillo, a supporter of Register Arroyo added that he has “always known Arroyo to be a champion of working people and especially immigrant families like his own” and was “proud to have cast my vote for Felix already in my mail-in ballot.”

The vote, which is already historic by the fact that it was presided over by a person of color, Rana, was also historic because it’s the first time this millennium that the committee has come out in support of any Democrat ahead of a primary election. “I’m excited to lead the RDCC and build with all of the new leadership as we did last night. Over the past month we collectively developed the candidate’s forum. It was incredible to have around thirty members involved in the democratic process as we voted for endorsements. The real work starts now as we ramp up GOTV efforts, for many of our members, their first time they participate” said Rana.

Co Vice-Chair of the committee and Councilor Steve Morabito thanked the RDCC members for “their efforts in carrying the endorsement process for our city. To the candidates, I understand the courage it takes to place your name on the ballot, and the public scrutiny that comes along with this task. You are all winners in my book for participating in the democratic process.” Patrick Keefe, the committee’s Treasurer is also supporting the congressman in his bid to unseat Senator Markey.

The Democratic State Primary will be held in-person on September 1st, which will mark the last day when people can vote. Voting by mail is already available by requesting a mail-in ballot or by voting early between August 22nd and August 28th. The winners of this contest will be on the ballot in the General Presidential Ballot which will take place on November 3rd. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact the Revere Democratic City Committee or the Safe Elections Network at [email protected] or visiting

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